A West Virginia 8th grader was arrested on April 18 for obstruction and “disturbing the education process” after he engaged in a heated exchange with a teacher and refused to remove his NRA T-shirt.
Jared Marcum, 14, of Logan told the Associated Press on April 19th that he was on a cafeteria line when a teacher demanded that he remove his NRA T-shirt or wear it inside-out because it featured a gun, which the teacher insisted violated the middle-school’s dress policy.
Marcum refused, stating it was his First Amendment right to voice his support for the Second Amendment by wearing a T-shirt with an image of a gun and the words “Protect Your Right” on it.
According to the AP, Marcum was sent to the principal’s office where he was subsequently arrested and taken to jail.
“I never thought it would go this far because honestly I don’t see a problem with this, there shouldn’t be a problem with this,” he told the AP.
Jared’s stepfather Allen Lardieri said he had to rush from work to pick his son up from jail. “I don’t see how anybody would have an issue with a hunting rifle and NRA put on a t-shirt, especially when policy doesn’t forbid it,” he told the AP.
True enough. According to Kelsey Osterman of Red Alert Politics, “a shirt which features an image of a gun and the words ‘Protect Your Right’ would seemingly be allowed under his school’s dress code.”
Osterman reports that “Marcum’s fellow students also stood up for his rights, with some wearing gun t-shirts to school on the first day of the boy’s suspension.” At least one student, he writes, was reportedly told to change their clothing.
The AP doesn’t typically publish the names of arrested juveniles but did so in this case at the family’s request that his name be made public to “let his case be known.”
Many believe the school district’s “case” says more about the school district, and the bizarro state of looking-glass weirdness that permeates today’s education industry, than it does about the “case.”
“I wouldn’t be terribly shocked to see this story if it were taking place in New York, Connecticut or San Francisco, but this is all unfolding in West Virginia. Something has gone pretty seriously off the beam here, and it looks like the problem is coming from their school district,” writes Buzz Shaw on hotair.com. “Obviously, gun control and Second Amendment rights are an important and current topic in the country and if schools aren’t going to foster an environment where students can learn about both sides of a constitutional question, what sort of education are they receiving?”
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